When we seek medical care, we are placing ourselves in the care of the “experts.” Medical professionals hold themselves out to the community as skilled and competent in their particular areas of expertise. A patient places him- or herself in the care of the doctor, nurse, or other provider because he expects the health care provider to possess reasonable care, skill, and learning–to be familiar with the applicable medical standards and protocols—and to exercise that skill in a reasonably competent manner.
By holding themselves out to be professionals, the health care providers are agreeing to treat the patient carefully, without negligence. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Failure to provide adequate medical care can be a breach of the contractual agreement between the health care provider and patient. This breach can form the basis of a claim of medical malpractice.
In Maryland, the procedures surrounding a medical malpractice claim are detailed and complex. They provide the rules of the process, telling us who can bring a claim, when it must be brought, under what circumstances a claim can be brought, and what are the limits to potential financial recovery. The Maryland statute also identifies persons or entities against whom a claim can be brought, that is, who qualifies as a “health care provider.” This is a large group and specifically includes the following types of facilities: hospitals, nursing homes, medical day care centers, assisted living facilities, and free-standing ambulatory care facilities. The following professionals are also included: physicians, osteopaths, chiropractors, registered or licensed practical nurses, dentists, optometrists, psychologists, licensed certified social workers, and physical therapists.
If you suspect you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced attorneys at 1-800-776-4LAW (4529) for a free, confidential assessment of your case.